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Carol-Lee DiCesare

LAKEVILLE — Carol-Lee DiCesare, 80, of Fairview, N.C., died peacefully on Jan. 3, 2012.Lee was born Aug. 19, 1932, in Bronxville, N.Y., the daughter of the late Ann and Stewart Hoskins. While she was still a child, the family moved to Lakeville and bought The Lakeville Journal, a four-page weekly consisting almost entirely of boilerplate. They turned it into a newspaper that would win many awards during their tenure. The family lived in the Day House until 1945, when they bought Roundelay on Interlaken Road. In 1941, although Ann was busy raising two small children, Lee, 9, and Heather, 5, Stewart attempted to enlist but was rejected. Ann joined him at The Journal during those difficult years and stayed on afterward, developing sections such as Spring Tonic. They lived in Roundelay and published The Journal until they retired. In 1970, they built their retirement home, christened by Ann “Good Morning Hill,” inTokone Hills.Lee was educated in Lake-ville schools: Salisbury Central, Town Hill and Indian Mountain School. In 1950, she graduated from Northfield School in Northfield, Mass.After a year at Cornell, she married Nicholas Kucherov and bore three children, Misha, Sergei and Tanya. They lived in Fayetteville, N.C., and Lafayette, Ind., before moving in 1959 to Vestal, N.Y., where Nick took a position at IBM Endicott. She was an enthusiastic and dedicated mother, leading Cub Scouts and assisting with Girl Scouts for many years. She introduced her children to literature, the arts, science and different religions.The marriage ended in divorce in 1968.The following year, while still a full-time mother, Lee earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in English at Binghampton University’s Harpur College. She married Mario DiCesare, professor and chair of the English department, and bravely took on his six children. The family lived in Binghamton, N.Y., and Owego, N.Y., until retirement in 1996, when they moved to North Carolina and designed and built their retirement home in Fairview. They named the house Windrush, for a lovely river in the English Cotswolds, which flowed cheerfully past a bed and breakfast where they had stayed in Bourton-on-the-Water.Between 1973 and the early 2000s, Lee and Mario traveled often to Europe, particularly to England and Italy. From 1973 to 1974, they lived in Pampisford, an ancient village in Cambridgeshire, and Lee collaborated with Mario on an anthology of 17th-century religious poetry. Three years later, they spent a year in Oxford. Both times, Ann and Stewart Hoskins came on extended visits. In their travels to Italy in 1974 and 1977 (and often later), Lee was a favorite of Mario’s Italian relatives. A beloved aunt rechristened her “la bella Carolina.”When Lee earned her Ph.D. in English (1980), Mario urged her to look for a teaching position. But even though she was a gifted writer and teacher, she chose to devote her considerable energies and talents to assisting him at Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies (MRTS), a scholarly press he had established at SUNY Binghamton in 1978 to meet major needs caused by deterimental changes in higher education. She served as managing editor for the next 15 years, training and inspiring scores of bright undergraduate and graduate students in the mysteries of book design, editing, typesetting and proofreading. During this time, MRTS published more than 200 scholarly volumes, many of them massive and/or complex, including multi-volume catalogues of manuscripts and rare books at the Yale and Harvard libraries.Retirement to North Carolina in 1996 did not lead to the happy golden years they had anticipated. In 1998, Lee learned that she had a brain tumor. The 14-hour operation to which she was subjected removed only a fraction of the tumor, but left her badly damaged. She continued the activities she loved, Meals-on-Wheels, Caring for Children, the Autumn Players theater group, as long as she could. Once a devoted and happy reader of poetry, fiction and biography, in her last years Lee found even this next to impossible.Nonetheless, during all these difficult years she attended every class her husband taught at the College for Seniors, UNC Asheville. There, she became a much-loved figure, admired by everyone for her pluck and her sunny smile.Lee is survived by Mario, her beloved and devoted husband of 42 years; her sister, Heather Ann Kahler of Lakeville and her brother-in-law, Michael Kahler; her nine children and stepchildren, Misha Kucherov of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Sergei Kucherov of Nashua, N.H., Marilyn DiCesare of Richmond, Va., Tanya Denckla Cobb of Fork Union, Va., Laura Dunaway of Tallahassee, Fla., Beth Madison of Corvallis, Ore., Chris DiCesare of Jacksonville, Fla., Sue Arteaga of Gainesville, Fla., and Catherine DiCesare of Fort Collins, Colo.; as well as by three nieces, Michelle Vandepas of Colorado Springs, Colo., Robin Kahler of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Sharon Kahler of Minneapolis, Minn.; and 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.Cremation services were managed with gentle dignity by Asheville Area Alternative Funeral & Cremation Services. In the spring, Lee’s ashes will be interred in the Hoskins family plot in Salisbury, awaiting the day when her husband joins her.Throughout her life, Lee was deeply devoted to education and to service. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor may be made to the Center for Creative Retirement, University of North Carolina, One University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804 or to Caring for Children, PO Box 19113, Asheville, NC 28805.

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